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Chapter 14 Chapter 11 Attack

Everest Epic 佛蘭西斯.楊赫斯本 4031Words 2023-02-05
On the eve of that great adventure, Malory was full of hope.If he didn't really expect success under that tenuous arrangement, at least he had a glimmer of hope.But it's all about how high the challenger can move the camp facilities.Maybe not everything depends on this, because if the porter can send one or several tents to an altitude of 27,000 feet, the climber may not be able to climb the last 2,000 feet.But if the provocateurs can't move the bivouac up to 27,000 feet, the climbers' chances of making it to the summit are slim. On the morning of May 20, only nine provocateurs were called to work, and only four of them were actually in good health.There are two tents weighing about fifteen pounds each, plus two double sleeping bags, eating utensils, and food for a day and a half.The whole thing was packed into only four twenty-pound bales, which were picked by nine pickers.This gave the challengers a lot of opportunities to complete their tasks, and, of course, they were all people who grew up in this mountainous area, and they were used to carrying heavy loads early in their lives.

The climbers are Malory, Somerwell, Norton and Mosshead.Strut had to turn back to the third camp because he was still acclimatized. The departure time is 7:30. This is the first time in human history that humans have actually set foot on this mountain.Millions of years ago this land must have been teeming with life because it was once below sea level; afterward it must have been a tropical island, covered with palm trees and ferns, and teeming with birds and insects .But it certainly happened before humans came along.It must have been covered with snow throughout all of human history.If the Nepalese and Tibetans never attempted the feat, we can be sure that neither did primitive humans.Therefore, May 20, 1922 should be regarded as the day when human beings first set foot on Mount Everest.But history does not record exactly which of the four climbers landed first on the uphill slope that begins at the North Col.However, it is mentioned in the report that Mosshead was the first to take the lead at the beginning, and the glory should probably belong to him; and because he belongs to the Survey of India, and the mountain was first discovered by the bureau, and the height and location were determined. It is a matter of course that the name of the chief is named for this mountain.The head's title is: General Survey, George.Sir Everest.

Note ① George.Sir Goeorge Everest: 1790︱1866, British geographer, Director of the Survey of the Indian Subcontinent. At this close distance, what does the mountain look like to climbers?From a distance, it seems that it can climb up, but what about the fact that it is close at hand?Looking up from the base of this north wall, its slope is slightly concave, getting steeper towards the northeast ridge.Climbers can follow the left-hand side up the ridge that wraps around the face, as it joins the northeast face, or they can go right and find a path parallel to the ridge up the slightly setback face.Whichever path you take, it won't be too difficult.There is a large area of ​​snow on the way, which can provide the convenience of going up.The difficulty is not the mountain itself, but the cold and high altitude effects.It was luck that the weather remained clear and stable that morning, for climbers had seen terrible winds here on other occasions.But 1,200 feet up, they all put on more clothes because the air was getting so cold.Now the sun disappeared behind the clouds.The more they pushed upward, the colder it became.The altitude effect kicks in and they have to struggle to breathe, taking several breaths with each step.

At 11:30 they climbed to twenty-five thousand feet; here they encountered difficulties.They had planned to push up to 26,000 feet.Now the question is: where to find camp for the two small tents?Those rocks are very steep, and when there is a discontinuity in the slope, the protruding ledges are too steep to camp.This is a serious dilemma.Somehow they had to find a place to settle down, and they had to find it in time so the pickers could get back to the North Col before the weather turned bad, because the two tents were only big enough for climbers.They scoured the mountain face, especially the side sheltered from the wind, carefully scouting the edges of the contours for some suitable camping spot that was level enough.The clouds blocked any further vision, so they had to search within a short distance.Finally, at about two o'clock, Somerwell and some pickers found a spot where they could pitch a tent.As for the second tent, they found a place that did not seem at all suitable for camping, so they had to try to reinforce it.It was at the base of a long sloping slab of rock, so they built a platform on top of it, and pitched the tent.At three o'clock the pickers were sent back to the North Col.

It is so difficult to find even a small flat area to support the tent. The next expedition will experience the same difficulty. This is a concrete example of what this mountain is like.There is no cliff on the mountain face of Mount Everest to block the way up, but it goes up steeply all the way. The night was so warm that the thermometer never dropped below 7 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 14 degrees Celsius), and the next day they planned to go straight to the summit.It was in their line of sight all the time, only about a mile in a straight line, and it must have seemed nearer in that transparent air.It may well be assumed that the spectacle must have kept the spirits high of men who, like Malory and Somerwell, were so passionately eager to accomplish such an endeavor.But Malory recorded that the whole team was not motivated that morning.Perhaps we can draw the conclusion that the human spirit does not rise up at an altitude of 25,000 feet.Here's the thing: They're in the same exhausted, out-of-breath state that long-distance runners get in the final stretch.They might be a little cheered up if they had a crowd cheering them wildly, or if they had the mind-reading ability to recognize those at home who imaginatively eagerly followed their progress.But the truth is, they have to work their way toward their goal in deathly silence.On the highest of those heights, in that icy silence, the human spirit must bear firm against the shouts of joy.

Snow fell on the morning of the 21st, and the top of the mountain was covered by thick fog.It took time to stick your feet into frozen boots and get something warm to eat, so they didn't start until eight o'clock.Climbers go straight up the mountain, that is, they take the route of the northeast ridge that is the ridgeline visible from both Darjeeling and Gangbadzong; the Everest we are familiar with from photographs is this aspect.After a few steps, Mosshead said he had better not go any further.He was extremely tired and did not want to be a burden to others on the way.So he went back to his tent and waited for them to come back.

The upward path continues to be steep, but not difficult.On that disconnected slope, you can walk almost everywhere.There was no physical struggle or powerful arm pull: they were not climbing a ridge, but a face.They are on the face of Everest, but very close to the ridge.The real obstacle is difficulty breathing.They must avoid jerky, sudden movements and instead make rhythmic movements.As exhausted as they are, they still have to maintain good posture and strive for balance in action.At the same time, they must take long, deep breaths carefully and deliberately.They have to breathe through their mouths, not their noses.Breathe enough air so that there is enough oxygen to maintain their lung function.Because of these factors, their work must be methodical.

They use this method to keep going, walking for 20 to 30 minutes at a time, with three to four minutes of rest.But the difficulty of breathing was a warning: they were not going fast enough, at four hundred feet an hour.As they continue to climb, the speed will be slower.Gradually, they realized that it was impossible for them to reach the top of the mountain.It was four thousand feet from their tent, and at the current rate it would take at least ten hours to get there.In addition, they must reserve enough time and energy to safely return to the camp. Although this mountain road is easy to walk, it cannot be taken lightly.This thought began to take weight in their minds.Their original aim was far beyond their reach.At 2:30, they decided to turn back.

The place they reached was later determined by theodolite to be 26,985 feet above sea level. Now that they had climbed to this height, 2,600 feet higher than anyone had ever reached, it can be assumed that they must be feeling exhilarated.And we would think that, when they were only three or four hundred feet from the highest point of the Northeast Ridge, they would be eager to push up anyway, to see the other side of the ridge, perhaps the Darjeeling Mountains.In any case, we would think that they must have felt the utmost pleasure when looking down at such a huge peak as Cho Oyu, less than 200 feet lower than 27,000 feet.But Malory and his companions didn't feel that way.They no longer have any emotion in their hearts.They accepted the fact that they couldn't reach the top of the mountain.Having accepted this fact, they descended with a certain degree of private satisfaction.Somerwell even admitted that, at that moment, he didn't care one bit about being able to make it to the top.Any trace of enthusiasm and joy in their hearts has been wiped out.

By four o'clock they were back in the tent; Mosshead looked very happy to see them back, but he was in a bad condition and had to be tended to as we continued our retreat downhill to the North Col.It wasn't long before they had a thrilling experience that showed that even Everest's smooth ascent had its perils.The four of them were tied together with a rope, and Malory walked in the front; when the third slipped, the fourth lost his balance; the second was able to stop, but could not hold the two behind him.Suddenly, the three men slid down the steep slope of the ridge to the east.The three of them accelerated down and fell two to three thousand feet soon, smashing their bodies to pieces. At this moment, Malory heard that something was wrong behind him, so he instinctively chiseled the ice ax in his hand into the snow, and tied the rope firmly to the axe. handle and press firmly.The action of the second man to stop earlier prevented the rope from being pulled suddenly suddenly, and the lives of the three men were saved in this way.His life was saved thanks to the outstanding skills of the mountaineer Malory.

However, this was not their last horrific experience.After this accident, they had to walk down a snowy slope, and they had to walk on foot.It was tiring work, and Mosshead was now sick and in need of support.Night was slowly closing in, but they still had a long way to go, and they were going very, very slowly, because they had to feel their way down, and they could only tell their way by the outlines of rocks that could be discerned after nightfall.At last they reached the North Col, but had to find their way among tall blocks of ice and glacial crevasses, which was not easy, because even with a lantern, they took many wrong paths until eleven o'clock at night. Arrive at the tent.They thought their troubles were over and that they would be able to find food and most importantly water and some warm drinks because, like all Everest climbers, their mouths were already parched from breathing in a lot of dry, cold air.So what a horror they were when they discovered that there was no pot in the tent to boil and melt the ice and snow!Due to negligence, the pots were taken back to the 3rd Battalion, and there was nothing warm to eat.In that dying agony of thirst, the liquidest refreshment they could get was strawberry jam beaten with frozen milk and ice. After they set the world mountaineering record, they had nothing to replenish their strength except eating this kind of food, so they had to lie down in sleeping bags.O tired, weary people!No wonder Norton came up with the idea that on the next expedition, an Olympic aid team should be set up at the North Col camp, so that returning climbers would be greeted and assisted into the camp, and immediately served with warm drinks and food.Experience can teach a lot, but at the same time it can be painful. The next day, May 22, had to go down to the 3rd Battalion early in the morning; it was not easy.A lot of snow had fallen and the old trail was gone, so not only had to find a new path on the descent, but also had to chisel it to ensure safe passage for the pickers who had to go up to the North Col to remove their sleeping bags. They set out at six o'clock and finally reached the third battalion near noon; they arrived completely exhausted.Regardless, Kfield took them into camp to care for them.There was unlimited tea available for them in the camp, and they slowly regained their spirits.But Mosshead's fingers had suffered from severe frostbite, and for months it was uncertain whether he would be able to keep them.
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